Luise Adolpha Le Beau

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Luise Adolpha Le Beau (1872).
Luise Adolpha Le Beau.

Luise Adolpha Le Beau (April 25, 1850 in Rastatt, Grand Duchy of Baden – July 17, 1927 in Baden-Baden) was a German composer of classical music. She was the only daughter of an officer, William Le Beau and his wife Caroline (née Barack). After the retirement of her father from the position of major general in the army of Baden in 1856, both parents devoted themselves to the general education of their daughter. From William, who also was a musician and composer, Luise received piano lessons from the age of five. At age sixteen, she completed her education with a degree from a private institution for girls and from then on she devoted herself to music.

After her confirmation (Easter 1865), she took piano lessons from Hofkapellmeister William Kalliwoda in Karlsruhe. She also received singing lessons from Anton Haizinger. In 1868 she made her debut as a pianist, playing the E-flat major Concerto of Beethoven and the G minor Concerto by Mendelssohn in Karlsruhe. In 1870 she met Franz Lachner and Anton Rubinstein. In 1873 she applied for piano lessons with Clara Schumann in Baden-Baden, and studied with her for one summer. A concert engagement in February 1874 took Luise to five cities of The Netherlands. The tour began in Utrecht and led through Arnhem and Rotterdam to The Hague and finally to Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, the family Le Beau decided to move to Munich, because Luise had a letter of recommendation from the pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow to the composer Josef Gabriel Rheinberger, to be accepted as a student. She began as a private pupil of Joseph Rheinberger in 1876. Her teacher for counterpoint, harmony and form was Ernst Melchior Sachs. Also, Luise showed Franz Lachner many of her works. In 1877 she undertook a concert tour with singer Aglaia Orgeni and violinist Bartha Haft. They went to several Bavarian towns, and she performed her own works. From 1878, Adolpha Luise Le Beau also worked as a critic and wrote reviews for Allgemeine Deutsche Musik-Zeitung" in Berlin. In the same year she founded her "private music theory course for music and for daughters of the educated classes."

Le Beau focused more on other composers (Berlioz, Wagner, Chopin, Schumann) and gradually cut herself off from Rheinberger, leading to the termination of the teaching relationship in 1880. In the summer of 1882, she wrote the score of the choral work, op.27 Ruth - Biblical scenes for soloists, chorus and orchestra. The publisher was Christian Friedrich Kahnt from Leipzig, and the work was premiered on March 5, 1883 in Munich.

In the same year, she met Franz Liszt in Weimar and her Quartet op.28 for piano, violin, viola and cello was premiered in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. In 1884 she met the writer Luise Hitz, and she set some of Hitz’ poems. In the same year she travelled to Salzburg and Vienna, where she made the acquaintance of Eduard Hanslick and Brahms. She was also a member of the Mozarteum in Salzburg. The years from Munich years until 1885 were those of the greatest productivity for Le Beau. Thus, for example, she won the first prize for her "Cello Sonata op.17" in a composition contest.

In 1885 the family moved to Wiesbaden. Some of Luise's works were also performed there. In addition to composing, she taught music theory and singing. The family was forced to move in 1890 to Berlin and Louise benefited from good opportunities to study in the Royal Library, which she later entrusted her music to for preservation. In Berlin, she came in contact with other musicians including Woldemar Bargiel, Joseph Joachim and Philipp Spitta . One last time, the family moved in 1893 and settled down again in Baden-Baden, where on 19 November in the same year her Hadumoth op.40 for solo voices, choir and orchestra was premiered. Over the next few years, she wrote several more works created, including the "Symphony op.41 for orchestra ", which was premiered in 1895 in Baden-Baden. Her father William died in 1896 from a stroke and Luise continued to care alone for her dependent, nearly-blind mother in Baden-Baden. In the summer of 1897 Adolpha Luise Le Beau finished her work on the score of the symphonic poem "Hohenbaden", which was premiered on February 25, 1898 in a symphony concert in Baden-Baden. In 1900, her mother died. The last major chamber work of Louise Le Beau Adolpha, the "String Quintet op.54 for 2 violins, viola and two cellos" was listed in 1901 but not published. In 1902, her only opera was the fairy-tale "The Enchanted Caliph op.55 " (after Wilhelm Hauff ) that she dedicated to her parents. Other compositions (piano pieces, songs, choruses of op.56 to op.65a) followed in the coming years.

The piano has a weighty share of her works list and runs like a red thread through the work of the composer and pianist: Fantasy Pieces, Op 1/1; Concert Etude Op 2, Original Theme and Variations Opus 3, Sonata op . 8, Eight Preludes Op 12, Improvisata op 30, Ballade Op 47, Three Old Dances Op 48, Funeral March op 53, Three Piano Pieces Op 57, Op 59 Barcarolle, Op 63 In the forest, Abendklänge op 64.

On a trip to Rome in 1902, she met the singer Alfredo de'Giorgio. In the years 1906-1910 she stayed in Italy. In 1910 she wrote her autobiography, "Memoirs of a composer". Her last years were marked by travel, teaching, composing and giving concerts and writing music reviews for the Baden Baden newspaper.

On July 17, 1927 Luise Adolpha Le Beau died at the age of 77 years, in Baden-Baden. She was buried next to her parents at the city cemetery. In memory of the musician, the city of Baden-Baden has designated their music library after Adolpha Luise Le Beau and on 23 July 2004, a memorial plaque in the street Lichtenaler 46 was installed.


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